Report says cleanliness, alarm safety needs to be improved at VA healthcare centers

Report says cleanliness, alarm safety needs to be improved at VA healthcare centers

BOSTON — A newly released report for the Office of Inspector General for the Veterans Health Administration showed cleanliness needs to be improved at some VA healthcare centers.

Inspectors looked at 51 randomly selected VA health facilities across the country including the VA Boston Healthcare System.

The report said dirty ventilation grills were found in 18 percent of the VA locations inspected. Dirty floors and dirty furnishings were found at more than 60 of the main facility patient care areas.

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It said the cause appeared to be due to staffing and a lack of oversight. Inspectors made 16 recommendations altogether for improvements that focused on making the facilities cleaner and safer for patients and staff.

More than 9 million veterans nationwide are enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration.

"Help the veterans, those of us who need help," veteran Franklin Davis said.

Davis served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and said he has gotten some of his healthcare from the VA.

"The government is basically to serve us," Davis said.

The report also said the VA centers need to improve panic alarm installation and testing to improve care and safety in mental health and high-risk units. It said VA staff is engaged and actively working to address the recommendations for improvement.

"I hope all of us who need it get great care," veteran Alan Weiner said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the VA said in part:

"VA appreciates the inspector general's oversight, which comes at a time when VA is seeing more patients than ever before, more quickly than ever before and studies show VA now compares favorably to the private sector for access and quality of care – and in many cases exceeds it."